Physiologic stressors and psychosocial stressors
Physiologic stressors have both a specific effect and a general effect. The specific effect is an alteration of normal body structure and function. The general effect is the stress response. Primary physiologic stressors include chemical agents (drugs, poisons), physical agents (heat, cold, trauma), infectious agents (viruses, bacteria), nutritional imbalances, hypoxia, and genetic or immune disorders. There are an almost infinite variety of psychosocial stressors, which become so much a part of our daily lives that we often overlook them. They include both real and perceived threats. The person's responses are continuous and include individualized coping mechanisms for responding to anxiety, guilt, fear, frustration, and loss. The mechanisms serve to maintain psychological homeostasis. Examples of psychosocial stressors include: accidents, stressful/traumatic experiences of family members and friends, horrors of history such as Nazi concentration camps, fear of aggression/mutilation such as muggings/rape/murder/terrorism, events of history that are brought into our homes through TV such as wars/earthquakes/violence in school, and rapid changes in our world and the way we live including changes in economic and political structures and rapid advances in technology.